MORTe politrickin halted as City moves ahead on parks, insurance bidding
$1,000,000 parking meter looting – the quarters!
The City Council meeting was anti-climatic in limited misspent energy with the business of Hoboken moving forward and a frustrated council minority clearly suffering to pick a fight on something, anything in a desperate bid to get traction and point a finger at anyone connected to the Administration.
This is a group without ideas or policy other than hiring more City employees. Councilman Michael Russo’s grandstanding resolution (no. 2) was deemed illegal, non-binding and ejected for good measure by Councilwoman Jen Giattino.
As expected work on parks and the Citizens Campaign insurance bidding process passed without dissent but the fun and games got interesting after Councilwoman Castellano’s resolution calling for investigation on unpaid legal bills last year failed.
It led to a discussion about other investigations including one that had been claimed prematurely to be “cleared up,” by Castellano before any investigation had even begun. She finally provided an answer to how it had been cleared up, claiming she had been told that by the Roberts Administration.
No one was buying it based on the comments by observers online watching the meeting and not anyone other than perhaps Castellano herself who along with Michael Russo was more than a little uncomfortable with the discussion.
Nothing can tell that story better than the video, so let’s go to the videotape:
There’s a lot going on and it’s not the grandstanding resolution about some legal bills legally incurred we’re talking about.
Councilwoman Castellano runs in circles attempting to hide from the main question at hand. Why did she say the matter was “cleared up,” before it was even investigated?
She makes a dual argument here neither tangential to the matter.
First she claims the FBI already had the investigation well in hand. Well that’s of course untrue on its face as there was no investigation whatsoever at that time and when it was later investigated the NJ Attorney Generals’ Office were behind it, not the FBI.
This was of course why the late Mo DeGennaro brought up the question again a couple of months after the initial inquiry asking, “About the million dollars…is it missing or what?”
Castellano’s second argument and it’s weaker is she believed the Roberts Administration when they said the drastic drop in parking meter revenues was due to an error. She attempts to link it to honest mistakes on some billing in the Administration at present but that’s just taking a cheap political shot in an attempt to change the subject.
Castellano is 100% correct on one point. It was “we who uncovered it” she says referring to Michael Russo’s original question on the drastic drop in the parking meter revenues. What she doesn’t explain on the true timing of the matter is why they then suddenly reversed and attempted to cover it up. Councilwoman Beth Mason chimes in to point at her ally Russo as if raising the question forgives the cover up that followed.
It all fails as does the witch hunt of a resolution at hand. Castellan knew that would happen. What she didn’t anticipate was a revisiting of the hijacking of a million dollars in quarters.
Perhaps the NJ Attorney General should return for another round of questioning.
|No investigation was made but Councilwoman Castellano claimed
“It’s been cleared up.”
Compare the all out brawl of a discussion above to what Russo and Castellano actually said in back to back to back Council meetings on the matter:
Talking Ed Note: Although the Old Guard will tell you the matter is closed, they may only convince part of Old Hoboken and it’s not likely most will take it at face value. MSV has a feeling the matter is not over for anyone other than the first person to hit the clink.
There’s some questions raised on who the CFO was at the time of the questions being raised in late 2007 and again in early 2008.
Councilman Michael Russo ever loyal to the La Famiglia Russo points the finger in the opposite direction of the truth.
The CFO then and now is his uncle: George DeStefano.
To the thousands of MSV readers, we’re going to make two strong recommendations.
First, watch the whole video clip for a primer on Hoboken’s sorry past of corruption and second, remember the name of the current CFO – George Destefano.